On June 4, voters of West Gardiner will be asked to vote on an ordinance for the recall of elected municipal officials. Although such an ordinance is a good idea in principle, here’s why I am voting no:

The proposed ordinance has three flaws. One, residents can petition to recall an elected official for any reason, or even no reason. Since we elect officials for just one-year terms, the grounds for recall should be limited to allegations of official wrongdoing.

Two, the ordinance requires signatures from only 10 percent of the number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election. This number is too low to force the expense of a special election. I would suggest at least 20 percent of the number of votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.

Three, there is no process for discussing the recall before a vote. I would propose that any ordinance provide for a special town meeting so that we can discuss the reasons for the recall with our fellow residents before we vote.

I urge the West Gardiner selectmen to redraft this ordinance and to present it to the town in time for our next town meeting.

June D. Zellers

West Gardiner

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